I Asked Twitter for Interview Tips and These are Some of the Great Responses I Received!

Last week I had a rather momentous interview. It felt and was rather high stakes. On the morning whilst I was waiting for it to occur I asked twitter for their advice on interview practice. The aim being to collate a list to help others preparing for similar high stakes situations. Below are the wonderful words of advice that twitter provide, I have cluster them into topics but the words are their own.

Comments About General Preparation

Ware your comfy smart shoes! Don’t go fancy because they look nice, comfort is more important in stressful situations (speaking from experience – https://twitter.com/bethanyrosemoss

Make sure you know what job you are being interviewed for. I have had candidates turn up without no idea what the post involved. Clearly hadn’t even read the job description. – https://twitter.com/ESHT_Pathology

Be confident. If you find this hard to do then reach out to someone you trust & prepare. Practice your elevator pitch & prep answers to situational judgement tests. Helps you think fast. Also, have an “external” mindset for internal jobs! – https://twitter.com/PhillipaBurns

Try to know your panel in advance; ask who is on it, make an educated guess based on dpt.. then know what interests them. Can help think of topics they might ask on or nuggets to drop into your answers that make them feel you are like minded- helps build rapport. – https://twitter.com/KatyHeaney

Always make contact before applying. Ring up, speak to them, ask questions about the role&department. So important. No doubt this gives you a foot in the door for interviews. Shows you are keen, interested& knowing a panel member in advance can really lesson nerves. – https://twitter.com/KatyHeaney

Sit down and actually talk through your answers from start to finish. It’s easy to know what your main points are but you may not have practiced phrasing it coherently. Maybe record it and play it back if you don’t have someone to practice it on – https://twitter.com/purcelle12

Read the job description carefully, everybody being interviewed has the essentials and deserves the opportunity. Concentrate on the desirables and make yourself stand out in these areas. – https://twitter.com/MCRImaging

And one more: I love this book – https://amazon.co.uk/Hours-Perfect-Interview-Organizing-Preparing/dp/0071424032/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=24+hours+to+the+perfect+interview&qid=1615543213&sr=8-1… Some of it is a bit US centric, but it has loads of helpful and calming advice. Which reminds me – any reasonable interviewee will expect you to be a bit nervous. So don’t worry if you are! – https://twitter.com/readthewriter

Ideas on Preparing Your Answers

I was once told this: interviewers only ever ask 3 Qs: 1- can you do the job? 2- Will you do the job? 3 – will you fit in? They’re asked in many different and creative ways – but that’s what they boil down too. So prepare for those 3 Qs and you’re good to go! – https://twitter.com/nat_echo

Make sure you have an example of how you meet each of the essential requirements on the person spec. Research the lab/trust- see if they have any big projects pending- how could you contribute?? – https://twitter.com/Samjjw

Know what you want to put across, says 3 or 4 things and practise different ways of saying, for instance, a)I am competent, b)I have practical skills, c)I am good at understanding how to apply procedures, so whatever the question you should still be able to answer it. 1/2 – https://twitter.com/SueLeeLondon

Always have an example of something you’re not very good at/confident with, and a plan of how you’re going to get better/feel more confident about it. Alongside all the things you’re good at, of course. – https://twitter.com/JesstheBMS

If going for a technical job, be prepared for a test even if they don’t tell you in advance. Also don’t worry about questioning the test answers certainly in software there is more than one way to skin a cat as long as you can justify it it’ll be fine. – https://twitter.com/curdnick

Before any interview, think about the three key points you want to communicate and, if you can, distill them down to three key words (eg. experienced, enthusiastic, friendly). Then, no matter what question you’re asked, you’ll know the sort of answer you want to give. 1/3 – https://twitter.com/readthewriter

Pre prepare some specific examples to common questions so you are ready (trouble shooting, team work, communication to non-micro people). Always give an example where possible. Emphasise the skills you utilised and what you learned with each example. – https://twitter.com/ClinSciGeek

Don’t always expect technical questions. When asked what their interests are outside work. It sometimes really throws people! – https://twitter.com/duckydoos

Values & behaviours of the trust and the nhs. This seems to have replaced hcpc standards type questions, but good professional behaviours. Know the words, but be able to give examples. If it’s a management role – research compassionate management, and how you can deliver this. – https://twitter.com/PhillipaBurns

Don’t forget the values questions! Look up the trust/ department values and think of an example for each – https://twitter.com/MT_marshlands

I know a dept that asks “how will you react if you don’t get this job” when it is a hotly contested internal job. And I love it! It’s your chance to talk your professionalism & values up – but also a contract with your team. You need to be gracious, even when disappointed. – https://twitter.com/PhillipaBurns

Things to be Aware of Once You Get into the Room

Show, don’t tell. Anyone can say they’re friendly, or committed to continuing education, or they’re innovative, or, or, or… So concentrate instead on *showing* those things. That might just be through your demeanour, but it could also be through project examples. – https://twitter.com/readthewriter

This may sound mad, if asked for a drink always ask for water. I once had a Tea made of full-fat milk instead of semi-skimmed and couldn’t drink it and mouth was very dry towards the end of the interview – https://twitter.com/curdnick

Lastly, your main aim is build a rapport with interviewer/s if you haven’t lied on your CV (don’t do that) all the other candidates are likely equally qualified and the point of difference will be if they think you’ll fit in the culture of the company. – https://twitter.com/curdnick

Remember that, in any job interview, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. They want you to be a fit, to solve the problem they have of needing someone. But, equally, you can decide if they are a good fit for you; if they solve something for you. – https://twitter.com/readthewriter

Pause before answering, look like you are thinking about your answer, or it looks like you are rushing to get your side in. Or say a start phrase like ” That’s a good question” to show you are thinking. Pause during your answer, don’t let the headlong rush of words trip you up. – https://twitter.com/Pwareingfsltd

Always say why you want THIS job THIS role in THIS hospital etc make sure they know you have done your homework into the post – https://twitter.com/liz7262

Thoughts on How To Structure Your Answers

What was the Situation Task Action Result (STAR). This is the best advice anyone ever gave me. Interview questions are so much easier to answer with this structure. – https://twitter.com/LLaurajwalsh

If you start your answer with the most relevant points, the interviewer can always ask for further details if they want them. – https://twitter.com/MicroTanner

STAR methodology is a good one to use when interviewing for a job – https://twitter.com/Mayi_Cervantes

What Kind of Content in My Answers Will They Be Looking For?

Don’t forget to explain outcomes! It’s great you arranged an event for 1000 people but what was the outcome of this? – https://twitter.com/Sci_Game_Girl

On top this I have more than once been asked to give a detailed explanation of a role I played on a project. If you can mix this with the kind of job you’ll be doing for them. For my current job a project I had done 7 years prior helped far more than I had most recently worked on – https://twitter.com/curdnick

Show transferable skills by knowing how to answer behavioural questions appropriately and don’t be afraid to give examples of when things didn’t work because it’s how you can demonstrate what you learnt and how you will implement change in the future that matters – https://twitter.com/theartofhearing

Keep answers to the point. We’ve ended up marking people down who give the “right” answer, but bundle it in with so much irrelevant stuff we’re left wondering if they really do understand or are just saying everything they can think of, hoping that some of it is what’s wanted. – https://twitter.com/MicroTanner

Reflections on What Questions You Might Ask

If u don’t think well on the hoof. Go prepared with question to ask; makes you look interested in the role and keen, and you can use it to bring up something u have done well somewhere else – can use it to your advantage. – https://twitter.com/KatyHeaney

They should also be selling the job to you. If they are interviewing you your CV implies you have the requirements. Ask questions about culture etc. Never tell the interviewer you think they are lying. – https://twitter.com/SueLeeLondon

I’ve been asked by a candidate “why did the previous post holder leave?” Which is an excellent question. – https://twitter.com/ClinSciGeek

Finally one from me. I’ve posted the below TED talk link before. I know that it may sound bonkers but I do find the Power Posing useful, if nothing else than for 2 minutes I take a few minutes to calmly centre myself before the high stakes episode. I was too nervous to selfie but there was definitely a ‘Pride’ pose that was held in the moment prior to my interview.

I was fortunate enough to get the post. I hope the collective wisdom of twitter will support you in getting your dream opportunity also. Huge thank you to all the wonderful contributors who have share their experience for the benefit of others.

All opinions on this blog are my own

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